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‘What about Our Library of Alexandria?’
Sensei Steve Wonders about the Possible Terminus of the Information Age
“I have three karate students, from three different African nations: Nigeria, the Congo and Ghana. These people are very different from one another, just like you’d expect French and Spanish and German people to be different. That is the tragedy of African American slavery in my mind, is that it blended people and took their past. Europeans had that happen when the Library of Alexandria burned. We don’t even know what we lost, half, most? Now we live in an age when most of the people in this country are under extreme social pressure to be ashamed of their roots. Is that any different than what happened to the slaves? Also, with the reduction in literacy, literary standards, removal of words, changing the meaning of words—It’s sounding like George Orwell was a time traveler and just mistakenly recorded the date. Control of the past—even erasure of the past—how long before our digitized world library just gets erased, or will it? Since we are no living in a Kurt Vonnegut novel and he’s dead and you write science fiction, I thought I’d ask you.”
-Sensei Steve

Sensei! What happened to African American slaves happened to their European American counterparts in far greater numbers, one with its identity erased as the absence of light [black] and the other as the absence of color [white.] The most dastard event was the willful historic vandalism of people of our age to look at the words immigrant, servant and slave and replace that with a racial designation and even further erase the identity of the already deracinated Whiteman by assigning him exclusive blame and denying his suffering. This, along with the “one drop rule” which only applies to blacks as a kind of super race with blood 16-times more powerful than Europeans, set us up for the current crippling guilt storm and the reboot of Original Sin as the foundation of the Civic Cult of 21st Century America.
The linkage in your question is fascinating, in that from 2003 through 2015 I was unable to access numerous primary source documents as Maryland Universities stopped granted me permission to read their collections and limited that to students and academics. Since 2016, I have been able to get pdfs and even word transcripts of primary American History sources previously only available to academics, who, as it turned out, universally lied about this material. The chief organization behind this digital process shall not be named for my own wellbeing. Also, it does not matter how many or these organizations are digitizing the world library. Eventually, they will buy one another out until only one centralized world database remains.
Once that has been achieved, access will then be severely restricted to people with academic and press credentials, people who are vaccinated, who have a good credit score, etc. Further, information will be tiered with different levels of access credentials required. Infotech goes nowhere but there, something that every science-fiction writer agreed with, a convention I will not breech.
In the old James Caan Movie Rollerball, there is a scene where the hero Jonathon, seeks an answer about the past and is granted access based on his celebrity status to the central computer controlled by the corporate masters. He asks his question, a great privilege, and discovers that the question itself is not authorized.
I imagine that whoever holds ultimate control over the world library will maintain an unedited version. But, increasingly, documents accessed by the laity will be heavily redacted, edited and footnoted by the fact-checking clergy, and eventually read to them.
The most interesting question is what happens to printed books. Mask cultism is already killing the largest book stores. Also POD platforms afford the ability to change text without an edition notice. However, since the print book is so derided and increasingly incompatible with the High Speed Corporate Media Mind [1] and its teeming supplicants mesmerized by their handheld oracles and increasingly dependent on videos and podcasts for tertiary sourcing, I suspect that hard copies will not be gathered up and burned in great ovens, but simply phased out with environmental regulations, taxes and opinions intended to save Gia’s green locks from the paper-mill and should remain under the Master Mind radar. Text reach, digitally and in print, will continue to diminish and since we have already passed the point where less than 1 in 100 people are capable of perceiving reality, I see hope. That hope flickers in the mind’s eye in the form of a pale, guilt-ridden ghost mesmerized at the infinite wonders contained within the palm of his godlike hand, as he reclines—not unlike Ares—on a bed made of enemy skins, only his trophy hide bed is clothed in the unread words of the dead.
One day, in some dimly lit future, I imagine an investigative writer offering drugs to slothful post-humans in exchange for permission to search through the material that panels their walls, tiles their floors, serves as replacement steps to dilapidated porches, upon which they sit and sleep, the pages of which are even used for tablecloths and toilet paper and fuel for heating with a wood stove.
Burning books by force will be done as NGO propaganda stunts. But most will be practically utilized by the atrophied minds of the descendent masses sinking back into the primordial sloth of civilization.
I see a future in which guilt scripture and grift gospel are read or broadcast from the flickering screen of the palmed all-manger, as the lone parishioner and his inferred and atomized congregation, warms itself by the soft primal light of burning books.
-1. At the advent of the Shamdemic masks were against the media-medical orthodoxy. A month later they were required vestments of the Faithful. That is about the amount of time devoted to publishing a book, let alone required to write it. The time sensitivity of the media cult will relegate books of all kinds largely to a supporting, not a leading role, in shaping the branded mind of the Faithful.
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OrangeFrogNovember 19, 2020 5:09 AM UTC

Mr LaFond,

I am of the opinion that we have indeed already surpassed the age of 'the greatest number of literate laymen'. Last year I visited a huge underground warehouse of old books and upon picking up random ones, on any subject, was pleased to see how well written they were. The texts demanded something of their readers whether the subject be hand to hand combat, botany, history or electronics. Many of them also appeared to be labours of love not of money.

I agree that there will be no book burning. Those in power know that it is probably more effective to simply convince people reading and thinking is a waste of time. This is the thing that is most galling: the knowledge is there. All of it. If a man wishes to master mathematics, he can do so. Physics, he can do so. Woodwork, he can do so. We have so much available now yet so few interested that even if it *did* come to book burning, hardly any would care.

Maskism and the shamdemic also illustrate the general ignorance of the populace. As a drone, I am surrounded by the buzzing conversations of vaccines, masks and lockdowns as people who have never had anything to talk about parrot the government mandated talking points. This Greatest of Chinese Viruses has also awoken me to a phrase that used to bug the hell out of me and now I know why: 'I am not an expert in X, but ...'. As soon as a man says such a thing, I know he has not made a serious attempt to understand anything. One need not be an expert in virology to know that a virus can be used as a political weapon.

I continue to enjoy your musings.
responds:November 19, 2020 7:28 PM UTC

I must use this as an article starter... be a few minutes.